All-America Selections Winners for 2018

All-America Selections has announced the first round of winners for 2018. Look for the red, white and blue logo of All-America Selections on seed packets in retail stores, plant tags in bedding plants in garden centers or nurseries, or in mail-order catalogs this spring. Success is almost guaranteed with these varieties of reliable new flower and vegetable varieties. Some cultivars are designated as AAS Regional Winners, but most are National Winners.

The non-profit All-America Selections (AAS) organization was founded in 1932 to foster the development, production and distribution of new and better horticultural and agricultural varieties, species, strains and kinds in and for North America. AAS winners are superior new annual flower and vegetable plants recognized for significant achievements – a promise of gardening success. Only the very best varieties receive this prestigious award. All AAS winners have been tested for home garden performance in more than 65 independent test sites, each under the responsibility of an AAS judge, all over the United States and Canada. Gardeners can rely on AAS Winners to perform in their garden because of these unbiased, independent tests. Most of the time only one to three flower varieties and the same number of vegetables get this award each year, and sometimes none qualifies. This year there are twelve winners so far, with ten National Winners (3 flowers and 7 vegetables) and two Regional Winners (neither are appropriate for the Great Lakes Region so are not included here).

The National AAS winners for 2018 are:

AAS Flower Award Winner: Canna ‘South Pacific Orange’

Canna ‘South Pacific Orange’

Sister to 2013 AAS Winner South Pacific Scarlet, this newest AAS Winner is compact in habit and well suited for both landscape and container use. This variety is more vigorous, more uniform, and has more basal branching than comparison cannas. It offers an outstanding bloom color in an attractive, vivid bright orange that contrasts nicely with the bright green foliage. Pollinator gardens will love this addition of an attractive canna that sports uniformly colored flowers over a long blooming period. Bonus: this canna is grown from seed, not tuber, meaning less chance of succumbing to disease.

Canna generalis
Common name: Canna
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Normal
Deadheading: No
Staking: No
Foliage color: Dark green
Plant habit: Upright
Plant height: 15-52 inches
Garden spacing: 18-24 inches
Bloom time: Summer
Bloom color: Orange
Bloom size: 4.5 inches
Weather Tolerance: Heat, rain
Container: Yes
Pollinator Friendly: Yes
Closest comparisons on market:
‘South Pacific Scarlet’, ‘Cannova Orange Shade’


AAS Edible — Vegetable Award Winner: Corn ‘Sweet American Dream’

Corn ‘Sweet American Dream’

AAS Judges selected American Dream as their top trial choice and it just so happens to come from the same company that introduced Honey ‘N Pearl, an AAS winner from 1988. In a tight trial, American Dream was pitted up against Honey ‘N Pearl and came through as the winner! With its excellent germination, very tender, super sweet kernels, this newbie will make a great addition to the home garden. American Dream matures slightly earlier than the comparisons and produces vigorous, healthy plants with cobs that have good tip fill of bi-colored kernels. Plants grow 6-7 feet tall and mature in 77 days after planting the seed. Perfect fresh, roasted, grilled, canned or frozen.

Zea mays
Common name: Sweet corn
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Normal
Season Type: Warm season
Staking: No
Foliage color: Dark green
Plant habit: Tall, upright
Plant height: 6-7 feet
Garden spacing: 8 inches apart
Days to harvest: 68 (seed)
Fruit Color (Harvest): Bicolor
Fruit Size: 7 inches
Fruit Flavor Description: Very tender and sweet
Number Of Fruits Per Plant: 1
Days To Harvest: 77
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Xtratender 277A’, ‘Honey ‘N Pearl’


AAS Flower Award Winner: Gypsophila ‘Gypsy White Improved’

Gypsophila ‘Gypsy White Improved’

Semi-double blossoms on this new, improved variety of gypsophila will make your garden sparkle! Not only are the flowers semi-double, but are also a bit larger in size and produce more flowers per plant, resulting in a fluffy white mound of beauty. Gypsy White Improved has better branching and a better growth habit than its predecessor, making it perfect for containers, small spaces and garden beds. A much longer bloom season and better heat tolerance than Gypsy Compact White will make this your new garden favorite. Overall it is a beautiful little plant with many possibilities!r!

Gypsophila muralis
Common name: Baby’s breath
Light needs: Full to partial sun
Water needs: Normal
Deadheading: No
Staking: No
Foliage color: Green
Plant habit: Mounded
Plant height: 10 inches
Garden spacing: 12-18 inches
Bloom time: Spring, summer
Bloom color: White
Bloom size: 0.2 inches
Fragrance: Slight
Weather Tolerance: Wind
Container: Yes
Pollinator Friendly: Yes
Hanging Basket: Yes
Low Edging: Yes
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Gypsy Compact White’


AAS Ornamental Vegetative Award Winner: Cuphea FloriGlory® Diana

Cuphea FloriGlory® Diana

Cuphea, commonly known as Mexican Heather, is an ideal plant for borders, mass plantings and containers. FloriGlory Diana was highly praised by the AAS Judges for its larger flowers, impressive number of flowers and the darker, more intensely colored magenta flowers. The dark green foliage complement the flowers and really makes a statement for this new AAS Winner. With FloriGlory Diana, gardeners will be delighted with the compact (10-12 inch) size, longer flowering time, heat and weather tolerance.

Cuphea hybrid
Common name: Mexican heather
Light needs: Full sun
Water needs: Drought tolerant
Deadheading: No
Staking: No
Foliage color: Glossy dark green
Plant habit: Mounded
Plant height: 10-12 inches
Garden spacing: 16-18 inches
Bloom time: Late spring to frost
Bloom color: Magenta, solid
Bloom size: 3/8 inches
Weather Tolerance: Drought, heat
Container: Yes
Pollinator Friendly: Yes
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Allyson’, ‘Lavender Lace’


AAS Flower Award Winner: Marigold Super Hero™ Spry

Marigold Super Hero™ Spry

When one of the discerning AAS judges says, “I’d love to have this in my yard!”, you know you have a winner! Super Hero™ Spry is a lovely compact (10-12 inches) French marigold with dark maroon lower petals and golden yellow upper petals perched on top of the dark green foliage. The list of winning attributes continues: a more uniform and stable color pattern, earlier to bloom and no deadheading required. These stunning blooms make any garden fit for a Super Hero!

Tagetes patula
Common name: French Marigold
Light Needs: Full sun
Water Needs: Dry to normal
Deadheading Recommended: Yes
Staking Required: No
Plant habit: Bushy, compact, mounded
Plant Height: 10-12 inches
Bloom Time: Summer to frost
Bloom Color: Yellow and red bicolor
Bloom Size: 2 inches
Container: Yes
Pollinator Friendly: Yes
Weather Tolerance: Heat
Garden Spacing: 10-12 inches
Low Edging: Yes
Medium Height Divider: Yes
Closest comparisons on market:
Hero Spry, Janie Spry


AAS Flower Award Winner: Ornamental Pepper ‘Onxy Red’

Ornamental Pepper ‘Onxy Red’

Onyx Red is one of those stunning double-take plants that steal the show! This breeding work has resulted in an unprecedented compact, well-branched ornamental pepper adorned with eye-catching dark black foliage. The contrast between the diminutive black foliage and tons of shiny red fruits is striking and makes a bold statement in the garden. Plants are vigorous, continually growing but retain their neat, compact habit, making Onyx Red a wonderful plant for beds, borders, containers and dramatic mass plantings.

Naturally compact plants are perfect for a potted plant program as well as for an annual bedding plan where earliness and retail readiness are important factors.

Capsicum annuum
Common name: Ornamental pepper
Type: Flower from seed
Light Needs: Full sun
Water Needs: Dry to normal
Deadheading Recommended: No
Staking Required: No
Foliage Color: Black
Plant Habit: Compact, bushy
Plant Height: 6-10 inches
Bloom Time: Late spring to frost
Bloom Color: Purple (flower), black to red (Fruit)
Bloom Size: 3/8 inches
Container: Yes
Pollinator Friendly: Yes
Weather Tolerance: Heat, rain
Garden Spacing: 6-8 inches
Low Edging: Yes
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Black Pearl’, ‘Black Olive’


AAS Edible — Vegetable Award Winner: Pak Choi ‘Asian Delight’

Pak Choi ‘Asian Delight’

Asian Delight F1 Pak Choi (or Bok Choy) is a Chinese Cabbage that outperformed the comparisons by leaps and bounds. Judge after judge noted how this Pak Choi does not bolt like the comparisons, even weeks after other varieties went to seed. That means the yield from this AAS Winner can be double or even higher than that of other Pak Choi on the market. Asian Delight forms small to mid-size (5-7 inch) heads that have a tasty, tender white rib and dark green, textured leaves. One judged seeded his trial three times and all three times Asian Delight did not bolt whereas the comparisons did. “This is the best white stem mini Pak Choi I have ever seen.” That’s quite an endorsement!

Brassica rapa
Common name: Pak choi
Season Type: Cool season
Light Needs: Full to partial sun
Water Needs: Normal
Staking Required: No
Foliage Color: Dark green
Plant Habit: Compact upright
Plant Height: 5-7 inches
Garden spacing: 8-10 inches
Container: Yes
Days to harvest: 30-50
Fruit color (harvest): Dark green leaves contrasting with white stems
Fruit Shape: Vase
Fruit Size: 5-7 inches
Fruit Weight: 6-10 ounces
Fruit Flavor Description: Mild flavor with tender, succulent stems
# Fruits/Plant: 1
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Shiro’, ‘Toy Choi’


AAS Edible – Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper Cayenne ‘Red Ember’

Pepper Cayenne ‘Red Ember’

Add some spice to your life with this new cayenne pepper named Red Ember F1! This new AAS pepper Winner won over judges by being earlier to mature than the comparison varieties. Early maturity is an important feature for gardeners who live in climates with a shorter growing season. Red Ember produces a large number of rounded end fruits on durable, medium-sized plants. Judges described the thick-walled fruits as spicy, but tastier than the traditional cayenne, with just enough pungency for interest. Use this new cayenne pepper for a multitude of purposes and throughout the seasons.

Capsicum annuum
Common name: Cayenne pepper
Season Type: Warm season
Light Needs: Full sun
Water Needs: Normal
Plant habit: Compact
Staking Required: No
Plant Height: 2 feet
Garden spacing: 12-19 inches
Container: Yes
Days to harvest (transpl): 75 ripe red (130 days from seed)
Fruit color (harvest): Red
Fruit Shape: Round bottom cayenne
Fruit Size: 4.5” long x 1 inch wide
Fruit Weight: 0.6 ounces
Fruit Flavor Description: Sweet, moderately spicy for a cayenne
# Fruits/Plant: 25-50+
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Cheyenne’, ‘Ristra Cayenne’


AAS Edible – Vegetable Award Winner: Pepper Habanero ‘Roulette’

Pepper Habanero ‘Roulette’

Roulette F1 resembles a traditional habanero pepper in every way (fruit shape, size and color, and plant type) with one exception – No Heat! This AAS National Winner’s one-ounce fruits are red with thick walls when it matures and a nice citrusy (no heat) habanero flavor! Gardeners will be delighted with the earlier production of large, uniform fruit and a very high yield. One judge noted that each plant easily produces 10-11 fruits at one time and up to 100 per season so there are plenty to eat fresh, cook with, and enjoy! For an early fruit production of a habanero pepper that will charm even those that don’t like it hot, take your chances…Roulette is the perfect choice.

Capsicum chinense
Common name: Habanero pepper
Season Type: Warm season
Light Needs: Full sun
Water Needs: Normal
Plant habit: Bushy
Plant Height: 3.5 feet
Plant Spread: 3 feet
Staking Required: No
Garden spacing: 2 feet
Container: Yes
Days to harvest (transpl): 85 ripe (120 days from seed)
Fruit color (harvest): Red or green
Fruit Shape: Acorn
Fruit Size: 3 x 1.5 inches
Fruit Weight: 1 ounces
Fruit Flavor Description: Typical habanero flavor, no heat
# Fruits/Plant: 100
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Zavory’, ‘NuMex Suave Orange’


AAS Edible – Vegetable Award Winner: Tomato, Cocktail ‘Red Racer’

Tomato, Cocktail ‘Red Racer’

Red Racer, a cocktail size tomato, produced small, uniform fruits with great taste in the AAS Trials. Cocktail tomatoes have a good sweet/acid balance and are a smaller variety tomato (although larger than cherry or grape tomatoes). These tomatoes are uniform in size and mature as a cluster of fruits. The compact determinate plants produced a huge yield 7-10 days earlier than the comparisons and are ideal for small space and container gardens. One judge summed up this winner saying “Red Racer is small in size but big in taste!” Available in both organic and conventional seeds.

Solanum lycopersicum
Common name: Tomato
Season Type: Warm season
Plant Habit: Compact determinate
Plant Height: 3 feet
Plant spread: 24 inches
Staking Required: No (optional)
Garden spacing: 2 feet
Days to harvest (transpl): 57
Fruit color (harvest): Red
Fruit Shape: Round
Fruit Size: 1.5 inches
Fruit Weight: 2 ounces
Fruit Flavor Description: Classic tomato flavor
# Fruits/Plant: 68
Disease Resistance or Tolerance: Verticillium, Fusarium (1,2), Nematode, TMV, Gray Leaf Spot
Closest comparisons on market:
‘Mountain Magic’, ‘Premio’


 

 


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